Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Did You Know? – eBay Shipping and DHL

I recently wrote an article on eBay shipping for Entrepreneur Magazine’s eBay issue. It comes out in the Spring. I won’t repeat that content here, but I do have some extra info that didn’t make it into the article. I’ll share that over the next few weeks. A lot of it is interesting, and it relates both directly and indirectly to marketing and customer service (the two primary topics of this blog).

A couple of things about DHL are interesting. This company is building out its ground routes in the U.S. in order to step up competition against UPS, FedEx Ground and the like. Those routes aren’t totally complete, however. Not even close. So, they often ship items via air to make up for their lack of ground coverage. That means sellers often deliver packages “next day” but at ground rates. Customers love it.

On the downside, DHL often hands their packages off to the USPS because they haven’t established routes to rural areas. If you ship to some backwater zip codes you could find that it takes longer to deliver the package. At times it can take up to seven days. In this case, it’s best to send the package USPS Priority Mail or UPS rather than DHL. However, in most cases, it doesn’t’ take any longer than a standard UPS ground package.

If your reputation for fast shipping and stellar customer service is important, consider these issues carefully. You might be able to differentiate yourself competitively and build some lasting relationships with customers – which is what good marketing is all about.

There’s lots more info about shipping tips and strategies in The 7 Essential Steps to Successful eBay Marketing. Check it out.

P.S. Amazon.com knocked 32% off the cover price of "The 7 Essential Steps to Successful eBay Marketing" (McGraw-Hill, 2005). Walmart.com sells if for 36% off!

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At 8:19 PM, Anonymous Frank Ross said...

Good info Phil -- and another point in favor of DHL is that they cut deals with [some] wholesalers to give deep discounts on overnight service. (E.g. Overnight anywhere in the US for $12.95 with one wholesaler that we deal with). Customers love that too.

At 3:28 AM, Blogger S Cowen said...

Thanks for the insight, Phil. I've seen the latest round of DHL commercials but really haven't delved into who they are and how they operate. I'm looking forward to hearing more stories that didn't make it into the E mag story...

I've been in the eBay world for years and you have some thought-provoking points in your blog. I'm looking forward to reading more. Thanks.


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